U.S. judge tosses ‘arbitrary’ SEC oil payment disclosure rule

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A federal judge in Washington D.C. tossed out a new securities regulation Tuesday that requires oil, gas and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The SEC’s extractive resources rule was added to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, Reuters said.

Proponents of the rule, including Oxfam America, said it was meant to reduce corruption in poor, oil-rich countries. But the American Petroleum Institute and U.S. Chamber of Commerce argued the rule was too intrusive on deals that were meant to be confidential.

U.S. District Judge John Bates agreed, writing, “The Commission misread the statute to mandate public disclosure of the reports, and its decision to deny any exemption was, given the limited explanation provided, arbitrary and capricious.”

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